Nine years after they went Out of Business, veteran hip-hop duo EPMD (Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith) return with a new album, and you'd think it was only nine months. Save the appearance of young buck Skyzoo plus some street slang that's very 2008, We Mean Business is right in line with the cold, hard, and funky sound of EPMD in the '90s. Considering the time off, the loyal fan base, and the simple addictiveness of the crew's music, this is hardly a bad thing and -- just like the fans like it -- almost all the productions come from in-house, with Sermon handling twice the amount of tracks headed by Smith. The few guest producers include 9th Wonder, who contributes to the Skyzoo feature "Left 4 Dead," plus DJ Honda, who puts an infectious spy guitar riff underneath the great "Never Defeat 'Em" with Method Man. The old vocoder and golden age scratching from DJ 4our 5ive make the crooked "Roc-Da-Spot" the big throwback track but it's the following "Blow" that really shines, with its tightly cut loops and classic bravado boasts like "You a queen with drama/Don't make me get mad and Barack O-Bomb-Ya." As far as guest rappers, old friends like Teddy Riley, Keith Murray, Redman, Havoc, plus an especially on fire KRS-One are here, making this album short on new developments but greatly appealing to those who long for the way it used to be.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries